Francisco suffers from sciatica and has not been able to celebrate either the Vespers or the New Year mass, although he will preside over the Angelus
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who has replaced the Pope – afflicted by a painful sciatica – in the celebration of the first mass of the year where he has pointed out that, in addition to the vaccine against Covid-19, the society needs a “vaccine for the heart”.
“This year, while we wait for a recovery and new treatments, let’s not neglect care. Because, in addition to the vaccine for the body, the vaccine for the heart is needed, which is care,” Parolin said in the homily that was prepared by Francis for this Friday, January 1, which coincides with the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. This first day of the year is also celebrated the 54th World Day of Peace, which this year is entitled precisely ‘The culture of care as a path to peace’.
In this sense, the cardinal added: “It will be a good year if we take care of others, as the Virgin does with us.” For this reason he has urged “to find time for someone”. And he has stated: “Time is a wealth of which we are jealous, because we want to use it only for ourselves. Let us ask for the grace to find time for God and for the one who is alone and suffers.”
In his homily, he claimed the figure of the Virgin Mary, which was a “blessing” for those who found her: for Elizabeth, for the husbands at Cana and for the Apostles in the Upper Room.
In this sense, he has invited Christians to imitate her: “The world is seriously contaminated by saying evil and by thinking badly of others, of society, of themselves. But the curse corrupts, it makes everything degenerate, while the blessing regenerates, it gives strength to begin again. Let us ask the Mother of God for the grace to be for others the joyous bearers of God’s blessing, as she is for us “.
In this way, he pointed out that the Virgin Mary is “only the bridge between God and us” and “the path that God has traveled to reach us and it is the path that we must travel to reach Him”.
In the reflections prepared by the Pope and read by Parolin, it is also emphasized that Jesus “is not an abstract idea, he is concrete, incarnate, born of a woman and grew patiently.” In this sense, the Vatican Secretary of State has stated that women “know this patient concreteness” while men are “frequently more abstract” and want “things immediately.”
“Women are concrete and know how to weave the threads of life with patience. How many women, how many mothers in this way make life be born and reborn, giving the world a future. We are not in the world to die, but to generate life” , Parolin stressed.
On the other hand, he has also urged the priests to “bless the People of God, without tiring.” And he has assured: “The Lord knows that we need to be blessed: the first thing he did after creation was of each thing and say very well of us. But now, with the Son of God, we do not receive only words of blessing, but same blessing: Jesus is the blessing of the Father. “
Only about a hundred people have participated in the mass of this Friday, January 1, celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Peter of the Vatican. All of them, in addition to wearing a mask, have respected the safety distances established by the health emergency, each one sitting on a bench in the basilica.